March 1996 flood Daintree River at the ferry crossing. The rectangular object is the car ferry. The rich brown colour of the river is characteristic of floods. In the dry season the water is clear on the ebb tide and upstream near the village it is clear on the flood tide as well.
Facetiously one of the senior tour guides on the Daintree River would, after introducing himself, tell his passengers; "We have two seasons here, The Wet Season and The Wetter Season." It invariably caused a laugh, but the Daintree Rainforest gets rain. Scientists refer to this area as Queensland's Wet Tropics. The main tourism association refers to "here" as Tropical North Queensland.
Daintree is seasonal with a distinct wet period from January to April. Being on the coast and at the corner of the Daintree Valley, Wonga Beach gets less rain than the Daintree Village at the apex of the triangular valley.
We have a great climate at 16 degrees south latitude.
Well inside the Tropic of Capricorn but far enough from the Equator, winter here is a very pleasant affair. On it's northward march in autumn the sun seems to drag the monsoon trough with it. There is less rain from then until the end of the year.
Unlike other northern Australian destinations we do not have a green season. It is green here all year round.
One side to winter is the south-east trade winds. These were the winds that enabled Captain Cook to sail up the east coast of Australia in 1770. At Wonga Beach we are grateful for the south-easters because this onshore wind makes our beach sand-fly free and makes beach-combing a rewarding experience.
The se trade winds can chop up the Daintree river if they run against the tides>>> You can go do a boat trip in the calm of dawn before the winds reach the river
dawn boat tour>>>
The rest of Australia does not have the luxury of so much water. At Wonga Beach you can water your garden, wash the car with a hose and you do not have to drink re-cycled sewage. Our water supply system won a prestigious award from Tidy Towns for ultra-filtration.
Since amalgamation into the Cairns Regional Council in 2007 we have had water
restrictions imposed on us, had a hefty water price increase and no longer have
Jan 2014 we became the Douglas Shire once again and now enjoy un-treated water.
With 4 metres of average annual rainfall is Daintree floodproof ?
but there is a predictable short Wet Season when it can flood. This is from
sometime in January to sometime in April. Wonga Beach is less likely to have you stranded after heavy rain
than any other place in Daintree. The photo on the right was taken of a causeway on the Cape Tribulation Road north of the Daintree River during a recent wet season.
The causeway was rebuilt in 2011. The floods do not happen every year.
2012 WET SEASON Empty shelves at the Fresh Food people's store in Mossman. The
Captain Cook Highway was cut in 4 places and the back road was flooded.
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